Sep 3, 2012 Ξ Leave a comment


posted by nilabh

Broadly speaking, outlining methodology serves as the framework to enclose information in a logically structured and comprehensive manner. Creating an outline makes the entire writing process much easier and saves the author’s time.

In the initial stages of drafting, the author does not have complete idea of the output document. In this stage, outlining methodology puts brainstorming to effective use. Here, the author gets a chance to write all random thoughts down on a paper by pondering over few questions related to the document. Basic questions can be as follows:

  1. Who will read the document?
  2. Why will it be read?
  3. How will it be used?

Thus, the author captures all randomly flowing thoughts for the given context in a piece of paper. The author then encircles the main sections, connects the main sections to supporting ideas with lines, and deletes all irrelevant ideas. Though it may take the author a while to ramify depending on the context, but once this activity is complete it becomes very easy to choose the type of outlines desired for depicting different ideas presented for the topic. The common types of outlines are as follows:

  • Chronological: Used for documents involving a linear process, such as a step-by-step guide describing how to accomplish something.
  • Parts of an object: Used for documents describing the parts of an object, such as a graphic showing the parts of a computer (keyboard, monitor, mouse, etc.)
  • On the basis of complexity
  • Simple to Complex (or vice versa): Starts with the easy-to-understand ideas, and gradually goes deeper into complex ideas.
  • Specific to General: Starts with many ideas, and then organizes the ideas into sub-categories.
  • General to Specific: Starts with a few categories of ideas, and then goes deeper.

Once the whole document is organized with a proper outline given to each idea/information, a final outline for the document is created. Here, relevant chunks of information are grouped together under logical sections and sub-sections.

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